Losing a person you love can deplete your physical and emotional energies. Therefore it is important to surround yourself with friends and family that can love and support you and to look at ways that help take care of yourself.
Taking care of yourself:
- Keep your routine as normal as possible – go to work, walk the dog at your usual time, meet up with friends.
- Eat well, sleep and do regular exercise.
- Face your feelings and avoid using substances that numb the pain like alcohol: Grief cannot be suppressed forever…in order for the healing process to start we need to acknowledge the pain…
- Express yourself: Talk to a friend, a supportive family member. This can help soothe painful emotions and make us feel that the burden is shared.
- Plan ahead for grief ‘triggers’: An anniversary, visiting a favourite place, at times even a song can trigger the grief process once again. Be prepared and know that this emotional upheaval is completely normal.
- Go to counselling if you think it can help, maybe not straight away – you’ll know when you’ll be ready.
Support from family and friends:
- Now is the time to surround yourself with people who understand and love you. Talking about the loss might help. Expressing yourself creatively through writing, drama and art might help as well.
- Postpone major life changes: Moving house, changing jobs, remarrying or having another child might not be the best idea after a major loss. Give yourself time to adjust.
- Be patient with yourself: It can take months or even years to deal with a major loss and accept the change it brings in your life.
– Anna Catania is a generic counsellor within Willingness. She offers counselling sessions and runs the services for families going through cancer and chronic illness. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.